Botany or Plant Biology

How do ferns and mosses reproduce?

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Answered 2010-03-27 01:06:39

Ferns and mosses have a wonderfully interesting way of reproducing.

  • They produce spores (haploid cells) carrying only 1 set of chromosomes.
  • These spores undergo mitosis to form multicellular haploid structures.
  • These structures have a distinct sex.
  • This is called the gametophyte generation.
  • These multicellular haploid structures then produce sperm and eggs. (via mitosis)
  • The sperm is carried in rain or water.
  • The sperm fertilizes an egg atop the female gametophyte.
  • A zygote is formed. (diploid) carrying 2 sets of chromosomes.
  • Mitosis now occurs to form a multicellular diploid organism still on top of the haploid female gametophyte.
  • This is now called the sporophyte generation.
  • A mature sporophyte will then produce spores via meiosis and release them to start the cycle again.

So it's not just a simple case of mature diploid male fertilizes mature diploid female.

I found a link for a pic that may make it even easier to understand.

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